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Trans Stories, Spaces, and Cultural Production: Archives & Museums

Digital Archives

Page from photo album with two photographs of men in drag
'James Gardiner Collection: Victorian photograph album.' Credit: Wellcome CollectionCC BY
Find more images from the collection through the Digital Transgender Archive 

Digital Transgender Archive: The Digital Transgender Archive (DTA) gathers together digitized and born digital archival sources that relate to trans history, mainly prior to the year 2000. The items come from an international array of colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, public libraries, and private collections. Users can search across all holdings, or browse by collection, topic, or object type (listed as "genre"). Includes photographs, clippings, newsletters, ephemera, oral histories, and more, plus findings aids to non-digitized collections.

Archives of Sexuality and Gender: This database (available via the NYPL) brings together 20 individual archival collections from around the world, and covers LGBTQ history and culture from 1940-2014. The Transgender San Francisco Collection and National Transgender Library and Archive are collections of particular interest. Included in the database are periodicals, administrative records, correspondence, photographs, flyers, and more.

Start your own archive with Webrecorder

Webrecorder is a web archiving tool created by Rhizome, a nonprofit arts organization specializing in born-digital media.

You can use Webrecorder to collect and preserve trans resources you find or create online. This kind of digital archiving is crucial to trans collective memory, since websites can be short-lived and trans people have been sharing their stories on the internet since the days of Geocities and Arpanet, both of which are extinct along with all the non-archived content they contained.

Webrecorder is a particularly good web archiving tool for trans narratives online because if you find privately-shared trans stories and information you want to preserve, you can save them for yourself and not worry about opening them up to the public.

Museums & Exhibitions

Museum of Trans Hirstory & Art: MOTHA is an institution dedicated to centering and celebrating transgender art and hirstory. A list of their cross-country events and exhibitions, such as Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon, is available on their website.

Museum of Transology: Exhibition of trans artifacts and portraiture in the UK, collected and curated by E-J Scott. Photos and text from the exhibit are available via Google Arts and Culture.

More collections to discover

Study trans culture wherever you travel! Use this handy map, created by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA), to find GLBTQ libraries and archives across the country.